(SPOT.ph) Learning that our favorite childhood ice cream parlor had been converted into a mall made us want to throw a fist into the heavens and yell, "Why, God? Why?" But of course we didn’t. We remembered we were no longer seven-year-olds in need of a triple-scoop chocolate ice cream on a sugar cone. So we decided to give this bustling new hub a chance to explain itself, especially since it has the entire social networking sphere piqued.
And rightfully so, we found. Robinsons Magnolia at the corner of Aurora Boulevard and Hemady Street plays up our memories of Black & White Sundaes and strawberry milkshakes-from the name to the giant blue and yellow playhouse along the perimeter (between a free-standing Starbucks and the mall): the 2012 reincarnation of our childhood.
Nostalgia but better. This time, it’s a full-fledged lifestyle complex that allows us to reminisce while still giving fresh options in case we’re not in the mood (or just plain too old) for ice cream.
We scoped out this new hangout and found five reasons why it is (or will be) totally awesome. Check in!
Not only does Robinsons Magnolia have a plum spot between schools (La Salle Greenhills, St. Paul University, Xavier School, Jubilee Christian Academy), hospitals (St. Luke’s and Cardinal Santos), and residential villages, it’s also very easily commutable. Ride the LRT-2 line until Gilmore and walk the block and a half to the mall. A monitored taxi bay is also in service, perfect for coming and going.
It might not be the biggest mall this side of Manila, but it has a respectable lineup of shops that range from mid- to high-end. The mall is anchored by the company’s brands Robinsons Supermarket, Robinsons Department Store, Robinsons Appliance, and Robinsons Specialty Stores Incorporated (Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Warehouse, and more). But then there’s also Cotton On, Springfield, Steve Madden, Cache Cache, Gap, Promod, and Miss Sixty.
If you’re looking for something a bit more specific, there’s a comprehensive roster of specialty shops like La Senza, Beauty Bar, True Value, Howards Storage, Charriol. Bench, Bayo, Plains and Prints, Folded and Hung, Celine, plus other local retailers complete the picture.
Most of them are still closed, but we’re excited anyway.
3. Yabu: the Nirvana of Katsu
In case you haven’t tried this-gastronomic heaven because the original branch is always packed to the brim from opening till closing, you might have a chance to find a few empty seats here. Warning: you’ll still have to wait for a spot, but the lines are considerably shorter. Yabu at Robinsons Magnolia is located at the food court surrounded by other crowd favorites like Pepper Lunch and Gong Cha.
Robinsons Malls’ intention to make this lifestyle spot the ultimate dining sensation in the area wasn’t a missed attempt. Here, you’ll also find Tao Yuan, Thai Bistro, Elias, Buffet 101, and our newly discovered Korean dessert stop, Ice Pot (shaved ice with yummy fruit toppings).
Robinsons Magnolia beats out the other malls in terms of bathrooms. We were used to the less-than-appealing washrooms of old, so imagine our surprise when their lavatories were automatic and quite clean! We were also pretty impressed with the parking area. It reminded us of a hotel lobby, with bright lighting and wide spaces. Plus, the parking is free, at least for now.
The mall also has baby care facilites for moms who need maximum concentration while shopping, a customers’ lounge accessible with a fee for those who would rather sit and play Angry Birds to pass the time, and valet service.
5. Magnolia Flavor House: Where it All Began
One of the highlights of the Magnolia factory of the older days was the Flavor House. So many romances blossomed over Black and White sundaes that it would almost be a crime not to have a Magnolia Flavor House in the mall. Now sporting a more modern look, the Flavor House still has most of your favorite ice cream specialties and savory dishes. It seems like a pretty good place to bring the family.